THAMES, NZ. — It was 7:55 am. (New Zealand time) on the 30th of June . I had just commented on an Edmonton Oilers tweet regarding the acquisition of Adam Larsson from New Jersey Devils in exchange for Taylor Hall. I was secretly hoping that Hall would end up in Montreal, and was surprised that he had gone so cheaply hence my comment of “Unbelievable trade.”
Disappointed, I went to pour my second cup of coffee of the day.
When I returned to my computer screen, there it was: “Canadiens acquire defenseman Shea Weber from the Nashville Predators in return for defenseman P.K. Subban.”
“No way!” I thought to myself.
Man, I had just spent $240 (NZD) to ship over a number 76 Canadiens away jersey, safe in the knowledge that P.K. would be donning that sweater for many years to come.
This can’t be true!
As reality set, I monitored Twitter for further information about what else was going to be heading in the direction of the Canadiens as part of the deal. Of course those tweets never came. And I still had to tell my wife about the $240 I’d ‘wasted!’
I felt numb. Uncomfortably numb.
It’s safe to say I was a big P.K. fan. I still am. Yes, he was loud, he was brash. He played on the edge, at times, he played risky hockey.
I didn’t care that he sought attention or wore flashy suits. That’s the man’s make up. I think it’s awesome that he is himself. It’s not as if he was out boozing or getting into fights in his spare time. He was serving his community admirably taking full advantage of his prominence in the city to help those in need.
I applaud the man for his efforts both on and off the ice. Sure, I don’t know what went on behind closed doors and I guess I’ll never know. In my opinion, this trade created a massive loss both for the Montreal Canadiens and the Montreal community, particularly for many fans who had taken P.K. to their hearts.
Three months have passed and P.K. is still doing what P.K. does. Only, this time, it’s in Nashville.
I’ll be bluntly honest: it hurts. But, it is what it is. It’s a done deal.
Listen, I know the Subban – Weber trade has been flogged to death this summer but as a diehard Canadiens fan with the start of the NHL regular season just around the corner, I began thinking about what’s really important, regardless of my feelings on Subban.
How do Canadiens fans, like me, move on from this? We wish P.K. all the best in Nashville, but we must move forward. We will continue to support our team. Sure we all have our opinions on the general manager and head coach, but nevertheless we want our team to succeed, with or without them.
Which brings me to Shea Weber.
From what I’ve heard about this man, we are getting a top tier defenseman who plays the game differently from the way P.K. plays the game. Many may prefer P.K.’s style, but I tell you what, I know that Weber is going to give us his all every time he steps onto the ice. And for that reason, I will be backing this man all the way.
It must have been tough for him seeing and hearing the reaction from Montreal and beyond about this trade. Yes, he’s paid handsomely, but he’s human and has feelings. It’s not pleasant to feel unwanted. As such, he should be welcomed by us all.
We need him to play well, and it will be easier for him to succeed and excel with the crowd behind him rather than against him. Remember, Shea had no say in this trade and, like it or not, he is our number one defenseman. I would love for the Bell Centre crowd to give him a massive roar the first time he steps out onto our ice as his Canadiens journey begins.
Let’s make him feel at home, and feel wanted. Let’s make it memorable for him. He is one of ours now.
Shea Weber is a Hab. He’s our Hab.